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View Poll Results: Which city do you like better (all aspects)?
Houston 38 29.23%
Philadelphia 92 70.77%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-20-2011, 09:04 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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This is purely subjective, so be as partial as possible...to me, Philadelphia seems way more interesting than Houston even if it's population isn't growing as fast. Houston doesn't seem to have that much going for it, while Philly has history, lots of historic neighbourhoods, a downtown that compares to Chicago or Manhattan in urban life, proximity to other major centres, a distinctive culture and cuisine. Houston's downtown looks pretty poor to me as well and it's so damn auto-dominated.

 
Old 05-20-2011, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Virginia Highland, GA
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Phil
 
Old 05-20-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Up on the moon laughing down on you
18,516 posts, read 16,481,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Houston doesn't seem to have that much going for it
I would not call the city that grew the most last decade (1.2M people) not having much going for it.

Cities like Houston are where the US is going. Cities like Philly is where america has been.

Houston => Future
Philly => Past
 
Old 05-20-2011, 09:41 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,691 posts, read 19,680,978 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HtownLove View Post
I would not call the city that grew the most last decade (1.2M people) not having much going for it.

Cities like Houston are where the US is going. Cities like Philly is where america has been.

Houston => Future
Philly => Past

I'll actually be passing through both in a few weeks when I go to America for the first time, so I'm treating my opinion as just an uneducated opinion and not making any conclusions, of course. But Philly seems to have way more of what I value from what I've read/seen (architecture, historic neighbourhoods, culture, quaint cobblestone lanes.etc). Houston the other hand seems just a pretty empty downtown for a city of 5 million (Sydney's downtown would blow Houston's away, judging from google maps) and the skyline is TOO futuristic for my tastes. Something like 1-2% of people take public transport which is pretty poor by any standards.
 
Old 05-20-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ area
6,902 posts, read 4,072,618 times
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Houston's a good choice is you like suburban sprawl in the majority of your city limits. If you want a true city experience Philly is the obvious choice.
 
Old 05-20-2011, 10:06 PM
 
2,234 posts, read 2,336,086 times
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I think this has been done before, and most people perfer Philly, because it's much more established and complete, whereas Houston, while very big and growing, still feels like a work in progress.
 
Old 05-20-2011, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
13,466 posts, read 14,945,293 times
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OH boy. It is widely known that if you want to experience the better city living between the two, Philadelphia comes out on top. But to say Houston doesn't have much going for itself is false. You would have to visit and you need to have an open mind about it. But I doubt anyone would if they have preconceived notions about it.

Last edited by Spade; 05-20-2011 at 11:25 PM..
 
Old 05-21-2011, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
11,063 posts, read 9,130,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spade View Post
OH boy. It is widely known that if you want to experience the better city living between the two, Philadelphia comes out on top. But to say Houston doesn't have much going for itself is false. You would have to visit and you need to have an open mind about it. But I doubt anyone would if they have preconceived notions about it.
x2
 
Old 05-21-2011, 12:20 AM
 
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I like Philadelphia. I just like the older cities.
 
Old 05-21-2011, 12:22 AM
 
1,447 posts, read 3,521,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
This is purely subjective, so be as partial as possible...to me, Philadelphia seems way more interesting than Houston even if it's population isn't growing as fast. Houston doesn't seem to have that much going for it, while Philly has history, lots of historic neighbourhoods, a downtown that compares to Chicago or Manhattan in urban life, proximity to other major centres, a distinctive culture and cuisine. Houston's downtown looks pretty poor to me as well and it's so damn auto-dominated.
ohhhh boy, prepare to get flamed by the houston posters!

anyway, to answer your question:
i love philly and have been there countless times over the years, as it is only 95 miles away from my hometown. philly is a very underrated city - truly one of america's gems IMO - with tons to see, do, and eat. it has a reputation as a very gritty city but in actuality it has some beautiful and extensive swaths of parkland such as fairmount park along with numerous pocket parks that are surrounded by historic, charming neighborhoods like rittenhouse square. there are terrific museums; a growing presence of young, artistic, creative types; a very underrated live music scene; and great pro sports facilities if you want to catch a live game - the fans in philly are among the most passionate anywhere, which makes for a lively (sometimes even rowdy) atmosphere at ballgames. and since you'll be in town during the summer, you may want to check out the beaches of the south jersey shore or the casinos in atlantic city, both of which are about 1 hour away without traffic.

one thing to note is that the people in philly aren't always the friendliest - as is the case throughout the northeastern u.s. - although there are plenty of individual exceptions, of course. i think you'll find that while they may sometimes come across as tough, aloof, or dour, philadelphians tend to be WAY less pretentious or obsessed with social status compared with the people in nyc or d.c. and to a lesser extent boston.

ultimately, i would rank philly as one of my five favorite american cities along with los angeles, nyc, san francisco, and seattle. yes, i even prefer philly over chicago and boston, which is saying a lot since those are pretty awesome cities, too.

as for houston, i would suggest that you go there with a more open mind. don't worry about the decentralized nature of the city or its lack of resemblance to philly or nyc or chicago or boston; instead, enjoy h-town for what it is, since a city and metro area that large is going to have a ton of things to do. and like philly, houston is regarded as an elite food city, which is a major attraction in of itself. sure, you'll have to drive around a lot, but if you do your itinerary research beforehand instead of just "winging it", i'm sure you'll find plenty of things to enjoy. i can't stress this last point enough - in the decentralized cities of america's sunbelt, the attractions are spread out all over the place, so creating a fairly detailed plan in advance with a list of "must do" destinations is more important than when visiting compact cities with better mass transit like philly, nyc, chicago, and boston.

another thing: i've found that native texans are generally friendlier to strangers/tourists than northeasterners are to the same (i know that's a generalization, but i'm a native northeasterner so i think i can say that). just don't go around badmouthing texas while visiting, as texans are a very proud bunch when it comes to their state and quite outspoken about this topic.

so again, drop the preconceived notions and i think you'll have a great time in houston.

btw, if you need any los angeles or nyc suggestions for your u.s. trip, just post a thread in those city-specific forums and i'll do my best to help out. i can also help to a degree with philly, especially with the eateries, neighborhoods, and basic attractions that might pique your interest.

Last edited by pbergen; 05-21-2011 at 01:50 AM..
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